Restaurant review: Bina TandooriBy David Millward
July 26, 2012
When a restaurant has been around for 23 years and is still busy on a Tuesday night in the middle of a recession, you know it must be doing something right.
There is a good choice of places to eat in Caversham and when I visited Bina Tandoori with my partner Simon it seemed to be one of the most popular.
We were greeted swiftly when we walked in and shown to a table at the front section which is for couples and small groups.
One of my pet hates in restaurants is when you are taken to your table, a menu is shoved in your hand and you are then abandoned for 15 minutes without even a glass of water.
Not so here.
At Bina, we were handed menus and then asked immediately if we would like a drink and some poppadoms.
A bottle of the house white or red would only set you back £14.50, while the wine list has prices that range from £15.95 up to £44.95.
If you were really celebrating, you could go for a bottle of Dom Perignon champagne at £135.
We were not, so we opted for the traditional choice of Kingfisher lager.
I was glad to have poppadoms to nibble on while looking through the menu as there was quite a choice, even for someone like me who does not eat meat.
I felt a bit sorry for carnivore Simon who had even more dishes to choose from.
After some consideration I chose Vegetable Patties (£4.75) for starters – sliced vegetables with garlic, ginger and turmeric wrapped in pastry.
The taste reminded me a little of vegetable samosa, but without the flaky pastry and more substantial.
Simon went for Chicken Tikka (£4.50), a dish of tender chicken pieces which had been marinated in special spices for four hours and barbecued in a charcoal tandoori.
For me, a visit to an Indian restaurant is a good excuse to have prawns, so I opted for the Prawn Bhuna (£9.50) with Pilau Rice (£2.95) and Peshwari Nan (£2.95).
Simon turned to the Chef’s Recommendations and ordered Lamb Jalfrezi (£8.95), consisting of diced boneless spring lamb cooked with fresh green chillies, tomatoes and ginger, with a plain naan (£2.75).
Here I have to mention the wide selection of different breads on offer, some stuffed with fresh vegetables or spinach, and the fact they were served baking hot and not limp and lukewarm like in some other places we have visited.
We also had a sneaky side order of Aloo Palak (£4.35), sliced potatoes and spinach, which was so delicious I kept scooping ‘just one more’ little serving on to my plate even though I already had more than enough food in front of me.
I do not like my food too spicy so I was happy with my main which was mild but still very tasty.
As you would expect, Simon’s was a little hotter but not too much so and the combination with the plain naan worked really well.
Neither of us had enough room for desserts but we could have had fresh mango or banana fritter along with an assortment of ice creams.
After our evening at the Bina, I can see why it remains so popular.
The food is excellent quality, the waiters are friendly, the atmosphere is relaxed and the decor is clean and contemporary, although Bina owner Mohammed Siraj says a redecoration is on the cards in the near future.
- Telephone: 0118 946 2115
- Website: www.binatandoori.com
- Address: Bina Tandoori
21 Prospect Street